How to Import and Format Data from a CSV
Your team is spending valuable time in Excel cleaning and standardizing your data before importing it to your CRM. Even with this effort, details are being missed, formatting is often inconsistent, and some duplicates are being created in your CRM. Though the CRM has a built-in import tool, the features are limited.
The Magical Import module allows you to import data flexibly and consistently. You can explore the data, map fields, deduplicate, cleanse, and standardize data before anything gets imported into your CRM.
- Select the CSV file.
- Map the CSV columns to the CRM fields, and set the import mode for each.
- Select the unique identifier field, and choose an action to take.
- Optionally, specify how to prepare and format your data before importing.
- Select records and import your data.
Select the CSV File for Import
In the Magical Import module, select the database and the record type in the top menu.
Choose the CSV file that you would like to import. Uploading a file into Insycle does not import it to the CRM right away, instead, you can prepare the data in a variety of ways before actually importing it to the CRM.
Explore the templates to see if there's already a template for your particular import task.
Map CSV Columns to CRM Fields
After uploading your CSV data, Insycle analyzes your file and compares the columns in the file to fields in your CRM database.
A column is included for each field in the CSV, with the CSV column header appearing as the top row. Insycle automatically detects the matching CRM fields and maps them for you. The second row shows the mapped CRM field names.
If your CSV contains fields that are not matched to your CRM, a red error notification icon will show at the top of the column. These unmapped fields need to be mapped manually by clicking the picklist and finding the appropriate CRM field. If they remain unmapped they will not be imported.
To remove fields from the import, hover over the column name and click the “X”.
If there are issues with some row data, the red warning icon will be shown on the left side of the row. When you hover over the icon, an explanation of the error will be displayed. Records that have errors in them will not be imported. Learn about fixing errors in the Troubleshooting section below.
Specify How to Import Values for Each Column
With all relevant fields mapped, tell Insycle how to use the data on a field-by-field basis by selecting the Import Mode, in the third row of the table.
Four Import Mode Options
- Update – Update CRM records with all non-empty field data contained in the CSV.
- Fill – Import CSV values only when the corresponding field in your CRM is empty.
- Overwrite – Insycle will replace any existing data in your CRM with the data in the CSV — even if the CSV field is empty.
- Append – Import values from the CSV and append (add them to) the existing data already in your CRM. A typical example of how “Append” is used would be in a “Notes” field.
To make any final changes to values before they are imported, you can edit the import data directly in Insycle by hovering over a value and clicking the pencil icon.
Insycle uses Identity Fields to compare your CSV to your CRM data. When selecting your Identity Field, make sure it is truly a "unique identifier." These are data points that would only belong to a single record—such as email address, phone number, street address, or ID number. For companies, it could also be company name, or company domain.
For example, no other contact in the database would have Maria Hernandez's email address, phone number, or ID number listed on their contact record.
Under Step 2 on the Import tab, select the Identity Field from the dropdown.
Select the Records Mode to tell Insycle how the imported data should be handled during the import process.
- Update existing and create net new – If Insycle is unable to find a corresponding record, a new record will be created in your CRM.
- Only update existing – If a corresponding record is found, it will be updated with the data from your CSV import. Records that are not matched with an existing CRM record will not be imported.
- Only create net new – Only records that can not be matched with an existing record in your database will be imported. Records that already exist in your CRM will not be updated.
You can make bulk changes to the CSV data before it is uploaded to your CRM. You could clean up, format, add or remove text, copy values to other fields, or make other updates.
On the Functions tab of Step 3, select fields and functions to apply to the field data.
In the above example, the First Name, Last Name, and Company will be capitalized, and the State field will be formatted to standardized abbreviations.
Click the Apply button to update your CSV data. You must apply these updates before importing your data.
Under Step 4, several options give you additional control over the data you import:
- List – Add your imported data to an existing list. Only available for HubSpot Contact records.
- Bulk Update – Update a specific field on import. For example, we could update all imported records to have the Job Title of “Founder,” regardless of the data contained within the CSV file.
- Associate/Link – Create relationships between contacts, companies, deals, or other custom objects. (The name of this tab can vary depending on what creating relationships is called in your CRM.)
- Date Format – Format dates contained within your CSV file to your preferred standard.
By default, Insycle will attempt to import all of your formatted CSV data into your database.
If there are only a few records you want to import—perhaps to test things out before importing the entire CSV—return to the table under Step 1 and check the boxes beside the select records. Leave the checkboxes blank to import all of the records.
When ready, click the IMPORT button under Step 5. Note that changes are applied to your CRM immediately, there is no preview step.
After the import runs, the Import Result breaks down the import information—how many records you tried to import and how many succeeded, failed, were updated, deleted, or unmodified. Click the Run ID to open a CSV report.
After you've seen the results in the CRM and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save all of the configurations as a template, to reproduce the same formatting operation in the future.
Tips for Importing from a CSV
- You can experiment with how the functions under Step 3 will work before importing records. After you have set up Functions to apply to your CSV data, click the Apply button. The data in the table under Step 1 will be modified per these instructions. If you don’t like how a function played out, make adjustments and re-apply them. If you don't want to use a function at all, delete it from Step 3; when you click Apply again the affected data will revert to what it was before.
- Importing a large data set can take a while to process, and Insycle handles this in the background. Once you click Import, there is no need to keep the page open, you can move on to other things. To check the status of your import, go to the Activity Tracker.
You can select more than one Identity Field in Step 2, however, Insycle will check all the fields to match. If one single field does not match, a corresponding company CRM record will not be identified.
Using the Update existing and create net new setting, Insycle will fail to match many records and instead will create a new record.
With the Only update existing setting, you will identify far fewer existing records and much of your CSV data will not be imported because Insycle will not be able to find the correct record to update.
Here are some tips for troubleshooting issues specific to importing:
If there are issues with a record, the red warning icon will be shown on the left side of the record. Records that have errors in them will not be imported.
To learn what the problem is and determine steps to resolve it, hover over the red exclamation mark—an explanation of the error will display.
If a field in your CRM includes dropdown values and the data included in your CSV does not match, the row will display an "Invalid picklist value" error. This value needs to be changed to match the dropdown options used in your CRM.
You can make quick fixes to the import data directly in Insycle by hovering over a value and clicking the pencil icon.
If a record in your CSV is not being matched to a CRM record and you know that it should be, there are several potential causes:
The Identity Field you chose does not match between the CSV and CRM
Have a look at the data in your CRM using the Grid Edit module, adding columns to the layout so you can explore the fields and values. Then compare this against the columns and values that are in your CSV to find a reliable, but unique field that match between the two sources.
You are using too many Identity Fields
You can select more than one identity field, however, Insycle will check all the fields to match. If one single field does not match, the corresponding matching CRM record will not be identified and will not be deleted. In most cases, it is best to use a single Identity Field.
Your Identity Field choice is too broad
Insycle uses Identity Fields to compare your CSV to your CRM data. If you're using a field that is not truly unique as an Identity Field, it's likely that Insycle won't be able to identify one single record as a match. For instance, there could be many people with the First Name, "John" in your CRM. This is why uniqueness is key.
When selecting your Identity Field, make sure it is truly a "unique identifier." These are data points that would only belong to a single record—such as email address, phone number, street address, or ID number. For companies, it could also be company name, or company domain.
There is a syncing issue
To refresh the data in Insycle, navigate to Settings > Sync Status, select the account, and click the Refresh Accounts List button. Alternatively, you could log out of Insycle and then log back in.
For help re-syncing a specific field, contact support.
If you have set up formatting or standardization functions in Step 3, but aren't seeing those changes reflected after importing your data, make sure that you click the Apply button.
You must apply these updates to your CSV data before importing it into your CRM.
For general troubleshooting advice, see our article on Troubleshooting Issues.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, Insycle will automatically map fields that it can identify. However, Insycle may not be able to map every field. When it cannot map a field, a notification will appear.
Yes, you can easily append data to existing data by selecting "Append" from the mapping section.
Yes, Insycle allows you to apply many functions to specific data fields to clean, format, and standardize data on the way into your database.
Yes, Insycle allows you to associate contacts, companies, deals, and custom objects while importing data from a CSV, using the "Associate" or "Link" tab in Step 4 (depending on the verbiage used by your app).
Yes, Insycle allows you to compare in different ways using the Pull and Compare features. Learn more about comparing CSV data to existing records in your CRM.
Use the "Compare" feature when you want to use your CSV to view other data in your CRM for the same records.
For instance, Insycle might use the "email" field in your CSV to identify the matching record in your CRM, then you can view all additional fields for those matched records in a CSV.
Use the "Pull" feature to see if your CSV data is already present in your CRM. This is great for trimming your CSV files and keeping yourself from creating duplicates when uploading new lists.
Related Help Articles
- Module Overview: Magical Import
- How to Compare CSV Data to Existing Records In Your CRM
- HubSpot Imports
- Salesforce Imports
- Intercom Imports
- Import Date Formatting
- HubSpot Multiple Associations and Labels
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